TOS Homeschool Crew Review: The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner

6/19/2009
The thought of planning for our upcoming year is an exciting, but overwhelming one. I am almost done with my curriculum selections and am very excited to share what we will be doing. But, first I want to tell you about the The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner put out by the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's - Schoolhouse Store. When I opened up the Planner, and scanned the table of contents, I thought one thing. . . I need to clean my desk so I can get organized and start planning our school year. I just got my second big box of homeschool materials and need a plan.
I want you to know that you will find something in this Planner for everyone:
  • Yearly Calender Pages for 2009-2012
  • Monthly Calender Pages
  • Articles from well-known authors
  • The Old Schoolhouse Resource Lists
  • 24 Recipes
  • 12 "Must-Know" Lists
  • Homeschool Forms
  • Household Forms
  • Detailed Instructions
Here is a peak inside:
The Homeschool forms include:
  • Annual Plans
  • Yearly Goals
  • Curriculum Planning Sheet
  • Course of Study
  • Educational Objectives
  • Evaluation Forms
  • Progress Reports
  • Record Forms
  • Logs
  • Weekly, Daily, and Monthly Planning Forms
  • and more
Household forms include:
  • Homekeeping Reminders and Schedules
  • Home Repair Projects
  • Daily Schedules
  • Grocery Lists
  • Menu Planners
  • Chore Charts
  • Budget Record Sheets
  • Garden Planning and Checklists
  • Address Book
  • and more
What do I like about it?
  • That I can type right into the Planner.
  • All the forms. I spent hours googling homeschool forms to create our portfolio this year and even made a few of my own. This is a time saver and it is clean and attractive.
  • The "Must-Have" Charts. I printed them to put in a binder with other charts for easy reference. A second copy of the Kitchen Conversion Cheat Sheet is going right into my cookbook.
  • The Attendance Chart. I thought of a great way to use this form. To help my children to see where we are in the school year, I am having them check off a box at the end of a school day. I circled the 90th day (half way through) and the 180th day (all through) and decided we could do something special on these days to celebrate our progress. I think this will be a great visual to encourage my children to keep on plugging away.
What do I like most?
All of the ideas and motivation this Planner is giving me! It is also convicting me to apply myself more diligently to organizing, planning and scheduling.
Are there things about the Planner that I think could be improved?
The Course of Study form is the heart of my homeschool portfolio. It would be nice to be able to edit the course selections to tailor it to our homeschool. I would add a Life Skills and Bible section and combine other courses in one section. I also think workbox planning and recording forms would be a nice addition to this Planner.
Was I surprised or impressed by certain aspects of the Planner?
One thing I was surprised with is how easy it is to read online. The layout and font is pleasant and easy on the eyes. I scrolled through every single page of this 375 page Planner. I took screen shots and saved them to my desktop as I went so that I could easily remember pages that I wanted to come back too and three-quarters of my desktop was full of screen shots. Wow.
I saved a couple to share with you. :-)
Check out the large text boxes for typing!
I love that there is room for five children on this particular form. I thought it would be perfect for those once a week chores . . .
. . . or for when I have 5 kids in 5 different activities, like sports, swimming lessons, etc. so I can see at a glance who has what activity when.
$39 - Is it worth the price?
I asked my husband this because he is the saver and I am the spender in the family. I knew better, even though he totally trusts my judgement and I am very frugal. He says it is beneficial to our family and homeschool to be organized and structured (he is that kind of guy) and he was happy to see that I was actually motivated to clean off my desk, start organizing and planning . . . so yes, it is worth it. :-)
My favorite quote when I ran on the cross country team in high school, is "Logs keep you rolling towards your goals." I kept detailed logs of how much I ran, swam, biked, lifted and it encouraged me and motivated me to keep rolling. . . that is what this Planner will do for you. To see what other crew members think of the Planner, click here.
To see other products from TOS Magazine - Schoolhouse Store, click here.

8 comments:

DairyQueen said...

I love this planner too! It has more than you could think of!

The only thing it's missing for me is a workbox planning sheet :)

TOSHeidi said...

Michelle~ I really appreciate this review and your sharing your screen shots and personal thoughts - great job! As for your suggestion for next year - please e-mail it to me. I've already got a file started for improvements and additions to next year's planner and I'd like to add your suggestions.
Thanks,
Heidi

Susana said...

Very, very glad you reviewed this! I've had my eye on it for a few weeks contemplating whether or not to get it! This is so very helpful!

Andi said...

Great Review Chel!

Katie said...

I enjoyed your review very much and your use of personal screen shots. I also appreciated your ideas of what you add to the planner and found most helpful! Very nice review.

Jessica S. said...

I enjoyed your personal touch for the review! Great job!!

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

Great review Michelle! I love that you included photos of your own examples. Thanks for dropping by, we're homebirthers too!

Jessica S. said...

Love your homeschool page! I will be doing activities with my 3 yr old, great examples you have! :)

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